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Ioannes Paulus PP. II
Ecclesia in Africa

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  • CHAPTER VII
      • 136
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Holiness and mission

136. The Synod reaffirmed that all the sons and daughters of Africa are called to holiness and to be witnesses to Christ throughout the world. "The lesson of history confirms that by the action of the Holy Spirit evangelization takes place above all through the witness of charity, the witness of holiness".258 I therefore wish to repeat to all Christians in Africa what I wrote some years ago: "A missionary is really such only if he commits himself to the way of holiness ... Every member of the faithful is called to holiness and to mission ... The renewed impulse to the mission ad gentes demands holy missionaries. It is not enough to update pastoral techniques, organize and coordinate ecclesial resources, or delve deeply into the biblical and theological foundations of faith. What is needed is the encouragement of a new ?ardour for holiness' among missionaries and throughout the Christian community".259

As I did then, so again I address myself to the Christians of the young Churches in order to remind them of their responsibilities: "Today, you are the hope of this two-thousand-year-old Church of ours: being young in faith, you must be like the first Christians and radiate enthusiasm and courage. In a word, you must set yourselves on the path of holiness. Only thus can you be a sign of God in the world and re-live in your own countries the missionary epic of the early Church. You will also be a leaven of missionary spirit for the older Churches".260




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